Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

own behaviour) we make guilty of our disasters, the fun, the moon, and stars; as if we were villains on necessity, fools, by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treacherous, by spherical predominance : drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an inforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whore. master man, to lay his goatish disposition on the charge of a star! my father compounded with my mother under the dragon's tail, and my nativity was under Urla major; so that it follows, I am rough and letcherous. I should have been what I am, had the maidenliest star in the firinament twinkled on my bastardizing

SCENE XV. A Father cursing his Child.

Hear nature !
Dear goddess, hear; and if thou dost intend
To make that creature fruitful, change thy purpose ;
Pronounce upon her womb the barren curse,
That from her blasted body never spring
A babe to honour her; but if fhe must bring forth,
Defeat her joy with some distorted birth,
Or monstrous form, the prodigy o’th' time;
And so perverse of spirit, that it may live
Her torment as 'twas born, to fret her cheeks
With conftant tears, and wrinkle her young brow.
Turn all her mother's pains to shame and scorn,
That she may curse her crime too late, and feel

How

1

Without beginning; for no date prefixt
Directs me in the starry rubric set.

V.382.
“Where it is to be observ'd, (fays Mr.Warburton,) that the poet
thought it not enough to discredit judicial astrology, by making
it patronised by the devil, without thewing at the same time,
the absurdity of it. He has therefore very judiciousy made him
blunder, in the expression of portendirig a kingdom, which was witha
Ditt beginning. This destroys all he would infinuate.”

How sharper than a ferpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child.-

Ingratitude in a Child.

(6) Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend, More hideous, when thou shew'st thee in a child, Than the sea-monster.

[blocks in formation]

Flattering Sycophants. That such a slave as this should wear a sword, Who wears no honesty: (7) such smiling rogues (as these,]

Like

(6) Ingratitude, &c.] Ingratitude, a marble-hearted fiend, is more hideous and dreadful when shewing itself in a child, than even that fea-monster, which is the emblem itfelf of impiety and ingratitude : by which monster he means the Hippotamus, or river-horse, “ which, says Sandys, in his travels, p. 105. fig. nify'd murder, impudence, violence, and injustice : for they say, that he killeth his fire, and ravishes his own dam.” Mr. Upton's alteration of, Than i'th' sea-monster, seems unnecessary : for the poet makes ingratitude, a fiend, a monster itself, and one more odious than even this hieroglyphical symbol of impiety. See Observations on Shakespear, p. 203,

(7) Sych, &c.] The words, as these, may be safely omitted without injuring the sense ; they are fiat and spoil the metre. The next lines are read thus in the old editions ;

Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwaine,

Which are t'intrince t’unloose. Atwaive is doubtiess the genuine word, which was commonly used, fignifying, in tro, asunder, in train. And Mr. Upton.observing that Shakespear sometimes Itrikes off a syllable or more from the latter part of a word, would preserve intrince in the text, which he explains by intrinsicale. 'Tis certain the author ufes intrinsicaie, but I don't remember ever to have met with intrince : This shortening of words, is indeed too much the genius of our language;" and as the Reader knows the sense of

the

Like rats oft bite the holy cords atwain
Which are too intrince t'unloose : footh ev'ry paflion,
That in the nature of their lords rebels :
Bring oil to fire, fnow to their colder moods ;
Renege, affirin, and turn their halcyon beaks
With ev'ry gale and vary of their masters ;
As knowing naught, like dogs but following.

Plain, blunt Men.

This is some fellow,
Who, having been prais’d for. bluntness, doth affect
A faucy roughness; and constrains the garb,
Quite from his nature. He can't flatter, he,-
An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth ;
And they will take it, fo; if not, he's plain.
These kind of knaves, I know, which in this plainnels
Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Than twenty (8) filly, ducking observants,
That stretch their duties nicely.

[ocr errors]

SCENE VII. Description of Bedlam Beggars.

While I may 'scape,
I will preserve myself: and am bethought
To take the baseft and the poorest shape,
That ever penury

in

conteinpt Brought near to beast: my face I'll grime with filth ; Blanket my loins ; elle all my hair in knots ;

And

of man

[merged small][ocr errors]

the word, and what the critics would read, I have kept to the old editions, notwithstanding the quotation made by me from Mr. Edwards, in the place just referred to. I forbear quoting any similar passages here: Horace and Juvenal abound with + them, and Shakespear himself hath excellently painted the character in Polonius. See, particularly Hamki, Act

(8) Silly.] Some read silky : Filly is not always taken in a bad sense amongst the old writers. Vol. III.

H

[ocr errors]

Sc. 7.

And with presented nakedness out-face
The winds, and perfecutions of the sky.
The

country gives me proof and president
Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices,
Strike in their numb'd and mortify'd bare arms,
Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary ;
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Poor pelting villages, sheep-coats and mills,
Sometimes with lunatic bans, sometimes with pray’rs,
Inforce their charity.

.

Scene X. The faults of Infirmity pardonable.

Fiery? the fiery duke? tell the hot duke, that
No, but not yet; may be, he is not well;
Infirmity doth still neglect all office,
Whereto our health is bound; we're not ourselves,
When nature, being opprest, commands the mind
To fuffer with the body. I'll forbear;
And am fall’n out with my more headier will,
To take the indispos’d and fickly fit
For the found man.

SCENE XI. Unkindness. .
Thy fifter's nought; oh Regan, she hath tied
Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture here.

[Points to bis hearh

SCENE XII. Offences mistaken. All's not offence that indiscretion (9) finds, And dotage terms fo.

Rifing (9) Finds] Finds is an allusion to a jury's verdict: and the word fo relates to that as well as to terms. We meet with the very same expreffion in Hamlet, Acto si Sc. 1.

Why

Rising Pation. I pr’ythee, daughter, do not make me mad, I will not trouble thee, my child. Farewel; We'll no more meet, no more fee one another; But yet, thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter, -Or rather a disease that's in my flesh, Which I must needs call mine; thou art a bile, A plague-fore, or imbossed carbuncle, In my corrupted blood; but I'll not chide thee. Let shame come when it will, I do not call it; I do not bid the thunder-bearer fhoot, Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging fove.

The Necessaries of Life, few. (10) O, reason not the need : our baseft beggars Are in the poorest things superfluous ;

Allow

Why, 'tis found for
Shakespear ufes the word in this sense in other places ;

The coroner hath set on her, and finds it christian burial. Ib. As you like it. A. 4. S. 2. Leander was drown'd, and the foolish chroniclers (perhaps coroners] of that age found it was-Hero of Seftos." Edwards,

(10) O, reason, &c.] The poets abound with sentiments fimilar to this : take the two following passages from Lucretius and Lucan.

O wretched man! in what a milt of life,
Inclos'd with dangers, and beset with strife,
He spends his little span, and over-feeds
His cram'd desires with more than nature needs.
For nature wisely Itints our appetite,
And craves no more than undisturb’d delight.
Which minds unmixt with cares and fears obtain ;
A soul serene, a body void of pain.
So little this corporeal frame requires,
So bounded are our natural fires,

That

H 2

« AnteriorContinuar »